Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to manage landscapes-cropland, livestock, fishery and forestry–that address on one hand the reduction of the environmental and climate impact and on the other hand the development of food production methods, forest management and crops that are well adapted to changing weather condition. CSA aims to simultaneously achieve three outcomes:
- Increased productivity:Produce more food to improve food and nutrition security and boost the incomes of 75 percent of the world’s poor, many of whom rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
- Enhanced resilience:Reduce vulnerability to drought, pests, disease and other shocks; and improve capacity to adapt and grow in the face of longer-term stresses like shortened seasons and erratic weather patterns.
- Reduced emissions:Pursue lower emissions for each calorie or kilo of food produced, adjust food production in such a way that it does not harm the environment in the long run, restores ecological damage, adapts to variability and mitigates climate change where possible.
The links between agriculture production, forestry management, biodiversity conservation and climate change have been the core focus of CRED under the frame of food systems approach for natural resource management. These sectors must play a major role in global efforts to address both adaptation and mitigation. From the past experience, CRED has introduced new forest practices and tools for adaptation and mitigation of climate change including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) Certification Standard, BioTrade principles and REDD scheme to local community and government agencies.
By addressing challenges at a landscape level, innovative practitioners are able to identify connections between livelihood development, agricultural production, forestry management, biodiversity conservation and the environment protection and harness synergies in a more powerful way for economic development and to encourage land users to adopt practices that meet the government’s and farmers’ needs.
Integrating biodiversity conservation activities into climate-friendly policies, to strengthen sustainable economic development in remote and mountainous areas for indigenous communities through BioTrade promises the dual benefit of carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. It can create two significant revenue streams for local communities that commercialize carbon credits and BioTrade products and services. CRED, with support from The European Union (EU), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and Helvetas, had an opportunity to support Vietnam promote the sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation through sustainable trade of natural ingredients along ethical Biotrade principles.
In specific, CRED focuses on:
- Innovative agricultural practices adopted to climate change, e.g. draught, pro-longed flood, landslide and soil erosions;
- Sustainable/climate-smart cropping practices for the development of high-end market specialties e.g. tea plant, spices, medicinal herbs, essential oil and fruit trees;
- Biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural and community and household planted forests;
- Planting and sustainable management and harvesting of NTFPs, medicinal herbs and aromatic plants;
- Consultancy on international standards and certifications including Organic, FairTrade, GACP-Who, FSC;
- Support for agriculture and forestry extension service and training for staff.